Advent means “arrival” or “coming” and is the name of the four-week season leading up to Christmas when the church focuses on the benefits of the Incarnation and looks forward to Jesus’ return. Our readings this week in Isaiah fit this season very well. As Isaiah prophesies much doom and gloom, we find occasional interruptions of hope. While Isaiah tells us of increasing destruction for Israel, we also read about a child to be born who will be called “Wonderful Counselor” and upon whose shoulders the government will rest. Israel is promised that this child will oversee unending peace that attends the reign of King David’s throne.

Isaiah is looking forward to the messiah, for much trouble will precede the messiah. Even now, some of the promises for the messiah’s reign occur after Jesus’ return. The day where, “every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire” still awaits. Oh, we wait with joy for that day! My encouragement is for us to spend a moment today imagining the new world our King will bring when he returns. Such is a fitting a way to respond to this reading during the Advent season.